Onion extract (Allium cepa L.), quercetin and catechin up-regulate paraoxonase 1 activity with concomitant protection against low-density lipoprotein oxidation in male Wistar rats subjected to oxidative stress

Nidhi Jaiswal, Syed Ibrahim Rizvi
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2014, 94 (13): 2752-7

BACKGROUND: Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) protects the oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and is a major anti-atherosclerotic protein component of high-density lipoprotein. We explored the effect of onion extract and flavonoids (quercetin and catechin) in the regulation of PON1 expression and correlating with oxidised LDL levels in male Wistar rats subjected to mercuric chloride (HgCl₂) induced oxidative insult. Rats were divided into eight groups: Control, Experimental (HgCl₂), Experimental + onion/catechin/quercetin, Positive control (Normal + onion/catechin/quercetin). Treatment continued for 4 weeks.

RESULTS: PON1 activity and radical scavenging activity decreased in the Experimental group (P < 0.001) with increased susceptibility of LDL for oxidation and plasma malondialdehyde levels (P < 0.001). Onion extract significantly attenuated the adverse effects of HgCl₂ by up-regulating PON1 activity (P < 0.05), radical scavenging activity (P < 0.01), and protected against LDL oxidation (P < 0.001) and lipid peroxidation (P < 0.01). Similar effects were observed with quercetin and to a lesser extent with catechin.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings may explain the anti-atherosclerotic effect of onion and also foods containing quercetin and catechins.

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